The latest column by Fred Reed got me thinking. Here's an excerpt.
Weimar America is not stable. The cracks in the foundations, the social crumbling and virulent antipathies grow daily more evident.
The economy declines, jobs leave for other climes, the petroyuan looms, college graduates crushed by debt find no work, the middle class shrinks, and the young begin to live perforce with their parents. Times of diminishing expectations are dangerous.
City after city joins the ranks of the bankrupt, semiliterate, corrupt black Bantustans which by honest naming would be called Lower Third World. Their culture is utterly alien to that of Eurowhites. Across the open border to the south pour huge waves from the Latino slums, less alien to Eurowhites, less hostile, but nonetheless threatening to form yet another country within a country. The Third World proportion of America closes rapidly on a full third. Despite desperate attempts to impose multicultural harmony, experience shows that widely disparate peoples who do not like each other do not enjoy happy endings. My country ‘tis of three, sweet land of dystrophy….
America can no longer be called a democracy. The Constitution recedes in memory. Congress and the Supreme Court amount to nothing. Washington rests uneasily in the hands of a half-mad clique of geopolitical illiterates, warlike misfires playing dangerous games like little Kaiser Wilhelms in a sandbox. Presiding over the city is Septimius Severus, Bokassa III, a negligible pol from Chicago who doesn’t like whites or understand European norms of government. He will keep the borders open and civil liberties in retreat.
A sort of insanity rules, warning of stress building along many political San Andreas faults waiting for the Big One.
. . .
Below this seething maelstrom of degeneracy lie dangerous shoals of cultural conservatism, of people who believe in two sexes and birth within wedlock and orderly society obedient to law. They are quietly very, very angry at seeing everything they stand for eaten away by the multi-culti, touchy-feely, everything-goes miasma emanating from Washington. They speak of personal responsibility, learning the multiplication tables, English as the national language, and no toleration of crime-- and they know who commits it. Whether you think them simple-minded and fascist or wholesome and self-reliant defines which side of the gaping cultural divide you inhabit.
In times like these arises a yearning for a strong man to sweep away the filth, banish the disorder, and restore a possibly existent former Elysium ... And so a strong man arises from somewhere. With luck you end up with Lee Kuan Yew instead of Mussolini or, worse, that dark squatty effeminate blond Aryan superman of the Beer Hall Putsch. Unfortunately you can’t tell who you have got until after you have got him.
. . .
In America, something is going to happen. It will not happen just now. Things are not yet bad enogh. Wait. Whether it will be a continued slow sinking into an internally chaotic semi-bushworld status, or a serious war with Russia and China started by brain-burnt sexagenarian adolescents in Congress and pasty neocons with Napoleonic fantasies, or a coup by the military, or something else, I don’t know ... But something is going to happen.
There's more at the link. Sobering reading.
I think Fred is right. I'm sensing undercurrents in more than one part of American society that concern me deeply. On both extremes, of Left and Right, we see hard-line positions being adopted that have no room for maneuver or mutual acceptance. "Live-and-let-live" appears as dead as the dodo.
Trouble is, I've seen the extremes in action for myself. In South Africa's civil war and in conflicts in many other African nations, I've seen what happens when people and groups on either side of the political divide decide that the status quo is intolerable, and that any means are justified in order to get rid of it - even wholesale violence and indiscriminate murder by bomb, land-mine or other means. Once that line is crossed, by either side, the other side will probably respond by crossing it in its turn. It's almost inevitable.
Each side is likely to assume that it has enough force/power/whatever to prevail. Those relying on the 'Big Brother' state to enforce their policies will believe that a 'Civilian National Security Force', that might take shape in the form of a greatly expanded Department of Homeland Security and its efforts to 'militarize' police forces at national, state and local level will be sufficient to compel compliance with their orders. Citizen militia will assume that with so many 'patriots' (whom they define according to their own criteria, which are not necessarily shared by others) and so many weapons at individuals' disposal, such authoritarian impulses can be defied - by force of arms if necessary.
I've seen what happens when such irresistible forces meet such immovable objects. The innocent are the first to suffer, because extremists on both sides are eager to proclaim "If you're not with us/for us, you must be against us!" In their minds, this justifies extreme action against those who are less than quick to co-operate. In its turn, such simplistic "my-way-or-the-highway" dictatorialism begets similar reactions from those on the other side. If extremists can't target members of the security forces because of beefed-up security, they'll target their wives and children and extended families. I know. I've seen this happen before. In their turn, the security forces will lose all sense of restraint and exercise unfettered violence against anyone and everyone they perceive to be a threat, or 'different' in any way to themselves. Again, I've seen this happen. It's real.
I believe that in his unfettered contempt for the Constitution and the legislative branch, expressed most clearly in his recent moves to permit many more illegal aliens to enter the country, President Obama has "crossed the Rubicon" in his disdain for the views of most Americans. I believe that the new arrivals will bring with them greatly increased crime and disease, and will impose crippling new burdens on the already stretched education and welfare budgets of states that receive them. (The Administration's contemptuous dumping of hundreds of illegal aliens in some states without even bothering to inform the Governors of those states about it is mind-boggling in its arrogance and stupidity.) As one commentator has pointed out: "A Constitution is born of words, but it lives in deeds. Or, as is usually the case, it dies."
I hope and pray that this won't be the catalyst for hard-liners on both sides to draw a line in the sand . . . but I fear more and more that this is a pipe-dream. The Bundy ranch standoff earlier this year was a red light, warning of further troubles ahead. I predict that the 'militia' movements currently sending people to patrol areas of the southern border will escalate such conflict with uniformed security services in those regions. Sooner or later, a spark is going to be lit to the fuse. Once that happens, where will it stop? The last time such a fuse was lit in this country was at Fort Sumter . . .
It may be that, as one commenter has put it, 'Organized Community Defense Is America’s Last Hope' - against both extremes.